Ripple in the Sea

Book Cover


1940s & '50s

Charley Pearson

TaleFlick Top Pick!

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Horrified over her mother's treason, desperate to redeem her family's honor, a Japanese-American girl infiltrates a World War II Japanese POW camp to free victims of medical experiments (that's the plan, anyway). A historical novel that offers a unique glimpse into civilian life in wartime Japan.


Historical Fiction,War,Suspense/Thriller

Short Summary

Japanese-American KRISTY tries to run away from home and her abusive mother, but her plans unravel when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and her parents are arrested for treason. The FBI thinks Kristy helped. She flees the country, desperate to do something to redeem her family's honor, with no idea how.

Kristy's rescued soldiers, and the submarine that picked them up, survived after all, having tricked the Japanese (and Kristy) into thinking they were sunk. Kristy is united with their descendants 75 years later (in an epilogue), when she finally learns she succeeded in her quest.


Alameda, CA; submarine interior; island with hill & cave; Tokyo (dock area & offices)

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Kristy Hara

Age: 17 - 21

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Desperate,Honorable,Insecure,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: Maison

Age: 31

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Confident,Leader,Patriotic

Additional Character Details

Name: the hermit

Age: 68

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Badass,Educated,Blunt

Additional Character Details

Name: Major Donnerty

Age: 32

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive,Leader,Masculine,Patriotic,Outspoken

Development Pitch

Japanese-American KRISTY HARA flees the country after Pearl Harbor, suspected by the FBI of helping in her mother's treason. Desperate to redeem her family's honor, she infiltrates a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp on a Korean island, freeing soldier after soldier, hiding them in a cave, feeding them, enduring their abuse that she's "just another Jap playing mind games" and not really helping. She finally accomplishes their release to an American submarine in the area, and feels exonerated. (Part I) Then Kristy watches the submarine get sunk by a Japanese destroyer. She sinks into depression. Everything she did was a waste. The Japanese Army rousts civilians off the island and sends them to Japan. Kristy slinks to Tokyo, getting an eye-opening education on civilian life in wartime Japan. She recovers, and tries again, discovering a way to sabotage Japan's jet-development program. She succeeds; the prototype jet crashes just as it's taking off to intercept a B-29 headed for Hiroshima. But that reveals her sabotage and she's sentenced to death. Abruptly, the war ends, and occupying authorities commute her sentence since she helped the U.S. Still believing the FBI wants her for treason, Kristy remains in Japan. As an old woman, Kristy sees a movie about herself on the Korean island. The submarine didn't sink after all, using a trick to fool the Japanese destroyer. Kristy travels to America, to a reunion of the descendants of her soldiers, redeemed at last. (Part II & Epilogue)

About The Author

Charley Pearson retired after a career with the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (a.k.a. Naval Reactors), overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at closing facilities following the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use with EPA and state agreement. Other deeds included creating a lay-up protocol for ships going into extended maintenance periods that saved the Navy tens of millions of dollars in later rust-removal efforts. Upon retirement, awarded the National Nuclear Security Administration silver medal, the Navy’s Superior Public Service Medal, and what insiders jokingly refer to as “the vaunted NR plaque.” Charley can be found at (includes contact information). And if you know of anyone having a mind to write something themselves, that site includes a “Writer Aids” page with many suggestions and links to the advice of others. Hope it helps!

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Ingram-Spark

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







Kristy Hara is living in California when Pearl Harbor occurs and her mother is found to be a spy for the Japanese. She flees America, ending up in a POW camp where she learns that horrible experiments are being performed on American soldiers. Her loyalty lies with America so she helps the soldiers escape. She is caught as a traitor by the Japanese, but is saved just as Japan surrenders.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: EXCELLENT

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

The story is a period drama centered around a Japanese American girl. She is ripped from her family and thrust into a cruel world. She decides where allegiances lie and bravely adheres to them.

Possible Drawbacks

There was nothing that made me want to put the book down. The story is compelling and inspiring. It shows a unique point of view because Kristy is first generation Japanese in America and she spends her time during the war defending America.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Kristy is a Japanese American woman who finds herself helping American soldiers in a Japanese POW camp. This movie would have a strong female lead with an interesting point of view. Her alliance stands firmly with America especially when she sees the horrors the Japanese army are enforcing in the name of war.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase because it is a epic story with a strong female lead. It also brings up interesting topics such as immigration and assimilation. There is also a call for more diverse casts and leads which this delivers.

Awards Potential

This story could have awards potential. Kristy is an extraordinary character with such determination in the face of an army. The perspective of a Japanese American working against Japan considering America was not kind to Japanese people is a great angle to explore. This is a story of perseverance and sheer guts.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The story is original because it deals with a Japanese American woman who allied with America and spied on Japan. She uncovered some of the atrocities the Japanese government was committing and helped save American soldiers.

Lead Characters

The lead character stands out because she is so pro-American. Her mother was a spy for Japan and was taken away with her father, who was just grateful to be in America. She turns her back on her mother, instantly disowning her as a traitor and seeks to absolve her mother's crimes by aiding America. Kristy is a strong female lead with complex motives .

Uniqueness of Story

This is a gem because of its' representation of Japanese Americans. There are complex issues about alliances to your motherland or to your new homeland. This is also an interesting look at the theme of assimilation, past and present. It is a well written story that explores different perspectives during World War II.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



Ripple in the Sea is a recommend because it is a new perspective of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. A young woman wants to proves she is a good American,deciding to help America in the war against Japan. The lead character is strong and determined. She even faces death with dignity. This story also offers diversity with a Japanese woman as lead.